Tuesday, July 22, 2014


We are the champion's!!!
Just imagine British rock band Queen singing "We Are The Champion's" in the back ground while you read this post. I can't seem to get it out of my head. 

Hunter and I spent almost a solid 3 days and 2 nights in Richfield, Ut participating in the 
"12U State Baseball Championship". An Ump told us that there were roughly 278 games being played during the 3-day tournament.What a wild weekend that was. Every hotel, camp site, hole in the wall was fully booked. We were lucky to spend our 1st night in one of those hole in the walls. Our toilet flooded within the 1st 3 minutes we checked in and we actually had a plunger next to the toilet. I haven't stayed in a lot of hotels but I'm pretty sure this was the 1st that came with a plunger. Our room use to be smoking but was assured that it no longer was one despite the terrible odor left behind. It was a hot, muggy weekend. Our air conditioner rattled and sounded like someone was rattling the door handle. Needing some fresh air without the rattling we shut the a/c off, opened the window and got a wonderful breeze of cigarette smoke from our good neighbors smoking outside. Morning couldn't come quick enough.
 But enough about our hotel.

Our boys were FANTASTIC! They played hard, worked as a team and it payed off. 
76 nightly practices
27 game-wins
7 game-losses
and 1 tie resulted in

Utah State Champions of our league. 

 Hunter-bottom row, 2nd from the right
Kory and the kids made it the 2nd and 3rd day. I think we were all on a high after each win as we progressed to the top. During the tournament we were undefeated. We had a few close calls but we did it. I don't normally get into the "game scene" but being surrounded by other parents loudly cheering our boys on I quickly joined in on the fun. I screamed, I shouted and I came home hoarse. It was great and totally worth it!

One of the really cool things about small towns are their tradition's. One of the most fun tradition's I decided is when our little Valley takes State. We were welcomed into town by a fire truck waiting to escort our boys through town.

All the boys were invited to ride on the fire truck. We started off in Glendale and rode through Orderville ending at the high school. Following the firetruck were the parents in their cars and other towns people wanting to join in the fun with a few cop cars in the end. 

While making our run everyone's honking and shouting "champions" out their windows. Despite the late hour of 11:30 p.m people were on the street and in their yards wearing their jammies cheering everyone by.

When we got to the high school there were even more supporters waiting to congratulate these young boys.  
It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. Each of these boys had permanent grins on their faces. I can't explain what a wonderful weekend we had. We are getting ready to move and I will miss this part of small town life. Hunter had such a great season this year. I am really glad we are leaving on such a good note. 
According to Hunter this was the best weekend ever!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

4th of July 2014

Our 4th of July starts off early every year. 
Our fire truck drives around town between 6-6:30 am blaring it's horn and siren. The truck drives up and down every street multiple times. The annual fun run begins at 7 and the flag ceremony at 8. This year the girls did the fun run with cousins and I missed taking their pictures. Hunter wasn't part of the flag ceremony this year so I came home and made breakfast for those still at home. Madelyn, Emily and Brayden decided to be apart of the parade this year. I took them all up to the starting point and came home to sit and watch on the side of the road. I think only in Alton do we have more participants in the parade then we do on the side. 

Kylie spent most of her time watching the parade roll by with mom and dad. 

As the parade started to get closer we realized Brayden was at the very front.  Being most of the parade was down hill I guess Brayden really got going on his bike. He even got ahead of the Grand Marshal. As soon as he got home he parked his bike and sat with us on the side catching candy being thrown our way. 

 Soon came Emily on her bike and Grandma Heaton dressed as a clown. 

When Madelyn came by Kylie decided to finish the parade with her.

After the parade we went to the Town Hall for the annual program. This year my mother-in-law was asked to come up with a performance. She got almost all of her local and older grand kids to participate. Earlier this week she decided she wanted the kids to have matching shirts so she went to Wal Mart and bought several packages of boys t-shirts and spray paint. Together her and I taped off shirts and sprayed the American Flag onto each of them. They turned out great! 

It was such a cute little dance number she made up. It was sure fun to watch and my
 girls say it was really fun to do.

Following the program I headed up some games at the park. I didn't get very many pictures since I was in charge and the only one running them.

Madelyn's favorite was the sack race.

Hunter's favorite was the relay using baseball bats. We formed 3 teams and one at at time the 1st in line ran to a particular spot picked up a bat had to spin around it 2 times and run back to their group to tag the next player. It was funny to see how dizzy the kids got and how crookedly they ran back.

The last game I was in charge of was a pie eating contest or in this case pudding contest. 

Lots of the little kids didn't want to do it so I was able to talk Emily and Brayden into it. I didn't have spoons but they could use their hands and fingers if they wanted to. Emily did not want to get her face dirty. She ate as politely as she could without using her hands. Brayden also didn't care to get terribly dirty so he carefully scooped each bite out with his fingers. These two did not win the game!

Hunter was a different story. He wanted to win and didn't care how dirty he got. 
I guess it paid off he was the winner in his age group.

I love Madelyn's facial expression. She did not want a dirty face either. She used her fingers and after a few bites decided to quit. She did not like the spray whipping cream that was on top. 

Following my games the traditional slip n' slide was pulled out. This is the favorite activity every year!

Emily and Brayden enjoyed it the most this year. Madelyn took Kylie down while I was cleaning up my games and we never could get her do it again. She didn't enjoy the thrill like the bigger kids.  

After the games I helped get ready for the big dinner. We had close to 300 people come and it kept us busy refilling the serving tables. When dinner was finished I was able to go home and put my feet up. I should not have worn flip flops all day. My feet were killing me. It was a great day but a very long one. 

When it finally got dark we set off some of our fireworks.
Kylie sat in her chair almost the entire time with her hands over her ears.

She didn't care for the loud screeching noises that some of them made.

Apparently aerial fireworks are now legal in Utah. Some neighbors bought a few and we were able to sit out front and watch their's shoot into the sky with their pretty lights.

It's been a long time since we've seen fireworks shoot into the sky!
Happy 4th of July.


While the workers were at our house this week, I decided the kids and I needed a break from home and the chaos we were surrounded by. So we went swimming!

Emily was really trying to teach Kylie how to swim. It was fun to watch.

Hunter and Brayden really love the swim noodles. 

Madelyn trying to shoot her brother's with the squirt gun.

Swimming was the perfect thing to do and it gave us a few hours of peace by ourselves.

Nothing but a mess.....

Several weeks before school ended I had an appraiser show up on my door step. He had apparently been hired by the owner of the house that we live in. It seemed that the owner's had finally decided to get serious about selling their house.  After the appraiser left we waited and waited and waited and never heard anything. Then a few weeks later I had a guy call me. He was the hired Realtor and wanted to come up the next morning to take pictures to list the house with. It was then that we learned that this house, a 3 bedroom, 3 bath house with a unfinished basement and too many problems to count (which many are against code) had appraised for $278,000. 
We were shocked. But knowing that the owner will NEVER get this amount for this house, in this area our fears of being evicted before we were ready subsided. 

The next morning the Realtor showed up and started taking pictures. About half way through he put his camera away and told us he couldn't finish. There were too many problems and with house not up to code which rules out almost every kind of loan (FHA, Rural housing, VA, etc.) except conventional and cash. He also said the appraiser should loose his license because this house shouldn't appraise for anything near what it did. He informed us that he was going to head home and discuss the issues with the owner. He was going to advise the owner to lower his price dramatically like over $100,000 or to fix everything. We knew the owner's wouldn't be pleased with either option. 

Like the Realtor it is our opinion that when spending $278,000 on a home a person is not expecting a stinky urinal that doesn't flush or

stairs that go upstairs with no railing or

kitchen cabinets that are either missing or broken or

a bathroom vanity with no drawers along with broken barely hanging cabinet doors or

holes in the wall's (every room has more than two) and 

missing fan plates to a bathroom fan that doesn't work or

light fixtures that show off our L.E.D lightbulbs or

 old pink carpet that have holes, stains and many rolls. 

Like I said. It's just our opinion that a home buyer would expect better. 
Now don't get me wrong. The house shouldn't be condemned or anything it just hasn't been well cared for and really needs some TLC.  

So after a couple of weeks of the Realtor leaving we expected to hear something and never did. Almost 3 weeks later I had yet another stranger knock on my front door. It was the "hired" handy man. He walked through the house with the list from the owner. He spent a few hours making notes so that he could give a bid on the project. Almost 3 weeks later the hired man showed up with his father-in-law to make a list of needed supplies. The owners decided they were not going to lower their price but throw some money at the house to fix it up a bit. I was told that the entire house was going to be painted both inside and out. Texture on the main floor would be scraped off and re-done. Plumbing and electrical issues would be fixed, carpet to be replaced and much much more. All while living in the house. I was not happy but knew we'd survive. The handy man, Mark asked me to remove everything off our walls and told me that during this process all furniture would be moved into the middle of the rooms and that they'd go one room at a time. So I started collecting boxes. Closets were going to be done to so I figured boxing stuff up would keep everything together and clean. 

Knowing the upstairs was going to be done first we boxed up most of the kids stuff including all the games, book, puzzles, drapes, etc. and put them in the boys closet for the time being.

I like Mark, the handy man, but he moves slow and isn't realistic on his time. I have lost count how many times I was told he'd be here and then not show up until 2-3 days later. Or told he'd be here first thing in the morning and he doesn't pull in until 2-3 in the afternoon. It was very frustrating. Like he had said he started with the girls room. So we pulled out all their furniture into the upstairs family room. It was only suppose to take him a day, it took almost 3. So the girls lived in the family room. When that room had the holes in the wall fixed and painted all the furniture went back in and then the boys room was done. The owner decided not to replace the carpets. 

After the boys room was done Mark went home for the weekend and told me he'd be back the next week to finish the upstairs family room. Two weeks later he showed up and did just that along with the downstairs. 

Everything in each room was pushed to the middle. It was quite the scene. Being Mark hadn't shown up when he told me he would I was not prepared for when he did show up. I had made sure that my upstairs stayed spotless but the downstairs was a different story. When he showed up I folding clothes on the couch which he quickly covered up with a drape cloth to start painting the ceiling. 

It was chaos plain and simple. We had drop cloths all over our couches, furniture and my kitchen island. I fixed meals at my in-laws. We ate our meals outside or on the floor. I didn't feel comfortable using my own bathroom the two day's they were in my room  fixing holes and painting.  I did my best at keeping my kids playing outside or at a cousin's house. When Mark finally left Wednesday night I think we all had a sigh of relief. We could finally put things back in order where they go. Mark is by no means near being done.  But it is getting closer to the day he never returns. They still have to fix the sink in the hallway that leaks. Mark says silicone will fix it. Kory says silicone is not a plumbing feature that should be used to fix a leaking problem especially when they just replaced most of the plumbing. It just shouldn't leak but.... I never use it anyways so really don't care at this point. The girls bathroom still leaks but the owner didn't say to fix it. It was decided that the texture wasn't that bad after all so it was never scraped and re-done. Just painted over. Carpets aren't going to be replaced nor light fixtures. Closets and the hallway will also remain the same. Doesn't make any sense but the owner doesn't think they need to be done. Mark will be adding a railing to our stairs and putting covering plates on the remaining holes in the wall's. Mark is hiring Kory to make the missing drawers in the bathroom and to fix the broken kitchen cabinets. The tree's outside apparently will be trimmed along with a few more odds and ends. Mark let me know he won't be coming back this next week but hopes to be back the following week. He hopes to get the remaining issues fixed in a 3 day period. I won't hold my breath! Like I said I like Mark but he isn't the best handy man. Instead of pulling out all the nails in the walls that were put there by previous tenants they were painted over. Some hardware was taken off the walls like the hooks in our room to hang bath towels while other's like the hand towels next to the sink remained and just painted around.

The house is listed. We do have a sign with flyer's. The owner is asking $268,000. Even with the new paint I really don't think anyone will be buying the house anytime soon. There is another house in town that is one year older. Has a finished basement. Has 5 bedrooms, sits on two acres and is just over all in a much better condition. It was listed and sold in one week for $160,000 a few weeks ago. I think if the owner dropped his price $100,000 he'd have a chance at selling.

Madleyn hits the double digits!

Hard to believe my little girl has reached the double digits.
She's 10!

Her birthday this year landed during the week of basketball camp.
I had to wake this birthday girl up along with her brother each morning at 6:00 am. We left the house at 6:30 to start our car pool and ended at the high school at 7. My kids are really struggling to get to bed at a decent hour when it doesn't get dark until almost 10. Being basketball camp some of Kory's siblings that live out of town came for the week giving everyone plenty of cousins to run around with till dark. I felt bad Madelyn had such a hard time waking up on her birthday! 
For her birthday breakfast she asked for a breakfast burrito. 

After camp and lunch we had her family birthday party. For lunch she got her favorite, Jumbo Shells. 

My little girl is growing up. For her birthday she wanted clothes and more drawing stuff. We also got her 2 more c.d's for her karaoke machine and some new earrings. With as many times we've heard the girls singing I think the c.d's were a hit.  

 One of Kory's great uncles, Berk, was in town. He brought a van full of grand kids for the basketball camp. So that everyone could see each other we had a cook out for dinner at the reservoir. It also just happened to be his birthday. Madelyn loved her birthday evening! 

Madelyn spent her time between riding in the canoes and wading in the water with cousins.

I didn't bring my zoom lenses so I missed out on some photo opportunities. She was just to far away.
These two, Kylie and Elisabeth are 4 months apart. They didn't care to much for the drying mud on the bottom of their feet.  

Grandpa and Kylie

The cook out was kind of a last minute put together. I had made a cheesecake for the birthday girl but knew I wouldn't have enough for everyone. One of my sister-in-laws brought the smore' makings but forgot the sticks. So we put those chocolate bars and marshmallows as close to the fire as they could get. 

After we got home from the cook out and everyone showered off their mud we sang Happy Birthday one last time and let the birthday girl dig into her much awaited raspberry cheesecake.
 Happy Birthday Madelyn!

Madelyn's favorite foods;
 french toast for breakfast, chef salad for lunch and jumbo shells for dinner.
Her favorite book is the Sister 8 series.
Her favorite Primary song is A Child's Prayer 
 Her favorite color is green
Her favorite ice cream is cookies n' cream
Her best friend is her cousin Ruth.
When she grows up she wants to be a dentist.